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12 February 2016

Opinion: Brexit Questions - We Need Answers

We are - as stated before - as a team, split on Brexit. What we will challenge, though, without fail, is bullshit - from both sides.

The British people have a key decision to make. That decision has to be made on fact, not rhetoric. On cold, hard data, not emotion or principle. And on the real upsides and downsides of both options, not misinformation and fear.

The problem is, there are no facts, as yet. Granted, the Campaign officially hasn't even started yet, but the scrabbling for position has, in earnest.

So here are the key questions that this Slat Team Member wants the answers to.

Where is the Economic Consensus that shows Brexit will be Detrimental / Beneficial to our Economy?

Both sides are happy to very often publicise viewpoints from individual economists, industries and commentators about how Brexit will affect our economy. Neither have provided any expert, independent economic consensus.

Probably there is no consensus either way.

After all, even if you laid every British Economist end to end, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion.

So we'll settle for a majority. We've looked - and there is none. So, to both sides; Don't try to claim your option will be best for our economy unless you can prove it, which you can't.

How Will Brexit Halt or Reduce Immigration, while still Retaining Single Market Access?

The #Ukip war-cry is 'Control Our Borders'. Farage means EU Migrants, of course.

Non-EU Migration is under our own control - and has nothing to do with the EU.

Accepting a certain proportion of genuine Refugees is an Legal Obligation under International Law (Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention) - and is nothing to do with the EU.

Regarding EU Migration; "Free Movement of People" is highly likely to be a condition of Free Single Market Access - whether Eurozone, EEA or EFTA. Who says? Brexit's Labour MEP Dan Hannan, long-time Brexit expert Richard North, and anyone who closely examines all of the various "Exit Plans". You simply cannot have one without the other.

This may or may not be actually true but critically Brexiteers have refused to guarantee otherwise. Switzerland has a higher percentage of EU Migrants than we do. So much for EU control.

But Ukip push this as a soundbite because they know that it will encourage those who are concerned about immigration to vote against the EU; even though Brexit will have minimal demonstrable effect on levels of EU migration if we wish to retain access to that Market.

This is what Ukip will not tell you, because no-one is asking that key question.

Will These Post-Brexit Trade Deals Be Better Or Worse Than What We Have Now?

"Out of the EU and into the World" is the Brexit battle-cry on Trade. As if it's an either/or deal, when it's clearly not.

We don't want to be "Out of The EU" on trade - it's a massive market that our economy critically relies on. Many Eurosceptics have claimed that the EuroZone Market is 'failing' - it is not. It is growing slower - slightly different, hm?

Until we know what the plan is, this is Brexit as we know it.

What IS true is that the Eurozone GDP as a percentage of world trade has reduced. This is due to increasing trade from the rest of the world, not reducing trade in Europe. It's a percentage. Promoting this as a sign of a 'failing EU' is false. We sell more to tiny Holland than we do to China. Will our trade with the EU increase or decrease?

And 'Into the World'? We trade very successfully with the world right now, under our own trade agreements, and those negotiated by the EU. Will the post-Brexit Trade Deals be better or worse? Eurosceptics seem convinced they will be better than current EU Deals. This, despite the fact they will be negotiated by David Cameron - the man who's negotiating skills have been ridiculed by Ukip.

One fact is clear here: We already trade pretty successfully with both Europe and the Rest of the World right now. No side of the argument can claim, with confidence, that Brexit will be either worse or better than our current agreements.

So What Exactly Is The Post Brexit Plan?

"Leave then sort out all the details"?
Does anybody know?

The various Brexit groups don't - there are so many options available, and none are agreed as yet among the Eurosceptics. At some point, we need to know what the plan will be, and we hope it's not as some Ukip person on Social Media claimed, "Leave then sort out all the details".

Because right now, that's precisely what the 'Plan' seems to be. What will post-Brexit Britain look like? What laws will change? What EU Regulations will we keep? Are we Norway, Switzerland or Iceland? - and if none, what exactly will the plan be?

Because frankly "Let's all hope for the best" is not really a Game Plan.

When Does The #ProjectFear Stop and The Facts Start?

Matt nails it.
Eurosceptics have made much recently of what they call #ProjectFear - Pro-EU statements designed to scare the undecided that leaving the EU will be a disaster.

And Eurosceptics are quite right to do so.

We, however would make this point; the Fear Policy works both ways. Ukip, EuroSceptics, the Daily Mail and Daily Express instigated their own Project Fear about 5 years ago and have not relented since.

Can you buy a KitKat today? Of course you can. The Daily Express said the EU would ban them.

To date there are 692 EU Myths listed here (and that site hasn't even been updated recently) things the EU are going to legislate against or force upon us, from big to small.

"I wonder what's down there? Can anybody tell me? Anybody?

Ukip have blamed the EU for many things, some of them true, but many of them false.

So Eurosceptics - If you don't like the 'Remain' Campaigns #ProjectFear - simply cease your own, identical campaign.

The lies, spin and misinformation from both sides, right now, stinks to high heaven. When are we going to see truth? Both sides of the argument owe a duty to the British people to provide that truth. Soon.

Your Target Audience should be the 'Undecideds' - not the 'Already Converteds'. And those 'Undecideds' will only be convinced by facts.

How Can You Ask Us To Simply Vote For A "Leap of Faith"

Because right now that's what both sides are doing. Some will vote to LEAVE or REMAIN regardless - for many, it's a philosophical question, regardless of economics or 'a plan'.

The rest of us who have yet to decide will not be fooled. Do either side really believe they can convince us with soundbites?

No. This simply will not happen.

Every British voter, right now.
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